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LETTER: No Minister jumped to Chiam's defense when he was recovering from stroke




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The following is a letter by one of our readers, Cheong T L.

Mr Shanmugam said that he felt sick because a Facebook user asked him if there will be a by-election if something untoward were to happen to Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat. I would have better appreciated such moralising if PAP leaders were as quick to jump to the defense of an opposition leader when such misfortune befalls them.
In February 2009, the Sunday Times published a report about Potong Pasir MP Chiam See Tong, “Recovering from stroke but Chiam is sharp and lucid”. In the article Mr. Zainudin Nordin, Mayor of Central Singapore District, was quoted as saying, “his (Chiam’s) condition does not seem to have improved. He looks like he is struggling. But I’m sure he is doing his job at his own pace.’
A few days later, Today published a letter in response to the Sunday Times article, titled “Chiam See Tong should call it a day”. In it, the writer wrote:
“History is awash with leaders who do not know when to quit, and I hope Mr Chiam will not go this way. This also raises the question of whether there is any parliamentary rule to retire an MP who has suffered a strokeThe issue is not whether an MP wants to carry on working. That is for Parliament to decide.
Never mind the newspaper chose to publish that letter with a such a title. We are ranked 154th at press freedom index for a reason. But I also don’t recall any PAP members or Ministers criticising the letter writer for his views.
The Minister’s moralising rings hollow considering how he kept quiet when a letter writer suggested that Chiam should resign because of his medical condition. His letter in a mainstream media would have a far wider reach than a comment in a Facebook.

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